Who remained in Kyiv during the war – Alexander Vozny – Ukrainian News / NV

When the war started, I had no doubt about what to do. “I realized that I was ready to defend Kyiv, that I would not be a passive observer.” Oleksandr Vozny, head of the Department of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Kyiv City State Administration, talks about the military experience, the management of the city’s assets and the personal attitude in each park in Kyiv.

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This year was supposed to be a revolution in the green economy of Kiev, we had provided unprecedented funding for the improvement of green spaces. Unfortunately, these plans have not yet been realized.

The work of the Department of Ecology did not stop for a minute. We used the facilities of our forest park, we handed over material to the army for dugouts and trenches. We met regularly with the heads of companies responsible for the green areas of Kiev. We dispersed supplies of firewood, formed strategic stocks of materials, filled irrigation machines with water so that in case of problems with the plumbing can be used as drinking water. We also decided not to stop the greenhouse work, thus saving planting material. We fully controlled the process and understood what needed to be done first.

On Sunday, walking along Vladimirskaya Gorka, I met a soldier dressed as a soldier. Proudly walked the path with a very beautiful woman in a white dress. It’s just a picture from a movie. I think that after the war, even today, the custom of wearing a one-piece dress will return when entering the city. Soon there will be many such guys in our parks with their girls. That is what we are working for.

There are three common forest parks around Kyiv – the green ring of the city: Svyatoshinsky, Darnitsky and Koncha-Zaspa. People usually spend a lot of time there, going to the forest for a barbecue or just walking. Today, most of these zones are mined and entry into the forest is prohibited. You have to understand that this is not a “scarecrow”. Unfortunately, more than one case of explosions has been recorded in the forests around the city. Complete demining is possible only after the end of the war and our victory. The danger of the situation changing and the Russians trying to attack Kyiv again remains.

We understand that people are actively returning to the city and need somewhere to spend their free time. To do this, Kyiv has more than 120 parks and 600 squares. Our job is to make it comfortable and safe there. The State Emergency Service conducts additional explosives checks and we do everything possible to ensure that these areas are well-groomed and cleaned.

After taking office, I began to see the clutter in the parks as a personal insult. I take it in depth. I would like the city to change qualitatively during my work. I am glad that my colleagues share this pain and this desire with me and do everything possible to keep the green areas in order. But we must understand objectively that our forces are not enough for such a volume of work. Therefore, we try to involve people in such events as subbotniks. We create all the necessary conditions: we provide seedlings, tools and gloves. You just have to come and participate. When someone does something with his hands, then he has a completely different attitude towards him.

The system now has 5 reference sensors and 40 portable sensors throughout the city. Today, every resident of Kiev can control the air quality in his area through the application Kyiv Digital. Also, with the help of guests, we installed radiation monitoring sensors to provide residents of the city with information about radiation background in Kyiv on the Internet.

We are the managers who manage the assets of the city. Their management must be efficient and transparent. This requires maximum process automation and digitization and a minimum number of employees. Where processes are digitized, there is less chaos and more control. One of my tasks is to build a system that will work even when I leave.

I am grateful to my wife Anya for her understanding of my decision to return to Kyiv. The family stayed in Ternopil, the wife got a job as a volunteer at Caritas. Periodically, in between studies, our children, Nicole and Diana, helped her.

Two weeks before the war, I decided I needed to get some equipment. My friend Boris promised to help with the machine gun, I had to buy more cartridges and cartridges. Suggest where to order a bulletproof vest and a helmet. When we left on February 23rd, my order had just arrived. Anya thought this package was my birthday present, which she ordered. And it turned out to be armor. When all the cars were driving west on February 24, I was driving almost alone to Kyiv. From time to time someone would stop me and ask:Why are you coming back? Does it explode there too?I replied no, as soon as I returned to Kyiv – I could not do otherwise.

Then everything started to develop very quickly. The enemy was close. I was incredibly lucky that my friends in the special operations forces accepted me into their ranks. With them I gained experience in performing combat missions on the line of contact with the enemy. At that time, these were Irpen and Gostomel, where the Russian invaders were.

As my friend Boris said, entering a war zone is a whole new experience. And later I was 100% convinced of that. A crazy burst of adrenaline, mixed with hatred for the enemy and the feeling that you are doing everything right. At that time we had only two goals: to complete the battle mission and to survive.

I have an idea for my next birthday. I want to choose a wilderness, develop a landscaping project for my own money, make a landscaping of this place and invite my friends to pick any plant from the list and then plant these plants in the spring. It will be a square of friends, but my name will not be there. I will just give it to the city. It is important to me that it will remain for centuries. I will be missing for a long time, but the square will be alive.

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